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Resources: I-9 Compliance Frequently Asked Questions

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bullet arrow Break in Service

Q.I am rehiring someone who used to work at Stanford. Does this require a new or updated I-9?

A.If a former employee has returned to work at Stanford, a new or updated I-9 must be completed even if the break in service is only one working day. The new hiring department may facilitate this process by completing a new Form I-9 with the employee. Alternatively, the employee may visit Payroll to update the original I-9 if the original I-9 was completed within three years of the date of rehire. When visiting Payroll, the employee must bring original documents establishing eligibility to work in the U.S.

For the convenience of the employee, it is recommended that the department collect a new I-9 in these circumstances as this can be completed in the local area.

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bullet arrow Certification of Naturalization (Cited from USCIS)

Q.Is the Certificate of Naturalization an acceptable Form I-9 document?

A.Yes. The Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570) is an acceptable List C, #8 Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Q.The Certificate of Naturalization states you may not make a copy of it. As an employer, I make copies of all documents for Form I-9. May I make a copy of the Certificate of Naturalization?

A.Yes. The employer may make a copy of the Certification of Naturalization for the purposes of Form I-9. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act governing the Form I-9 process, the copying of documentation is permitted not withstanding any other provision of law.

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bullet arrow Conditional Permanent Residents

Q.My employee submitted a green card with an expiration date of 2 years from the date of issue (conditional permanent residence). Does conditional permanent resident status have to be re-verified after the card expires?

A.No, permanent residents never have to be re-verified if employment has been continuous. In other words, Permanent Resident Cards with either an expiration date or no expiration date are List A documents that should not be re-verified. (Cited from the USCIS Handbook for Employers)

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bullet arrow Expired Form I-9

Q.How can I make sure I am using the current version of the form, and what has changed since the previous versions?

A.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated Form I-9 (Rev. 07/17/17 N) that must be used for all new hires and re-verifications beginning 09/18/2017. See the date printed at the bottom left of each page to make sure you are using this version. It is available at the USCIS web site and the Financial Gateway I-9 web site.

There are no changes to the first two pages of the form since the 11/14/2016 version, but page 3 was revised to add "Consular Report of Birth Abroad" to the list of acceptable documents.

A summary of key updates from 11/14/2016 is below. The process of completing Form I-9 itself remains unchanged.

Summary of key updates:

  • USCIS has introduced two versions of Form I-9: A 'smart' version that is fillable online and a 'paper' version which is formatted to be printed and completed in hard copy. Either version of the form may be used.
  • The instructions are no longer attached to the form, but an "Instructions" link appears on the form when completing it online or as a smart PDF on a computer.
  • Addition / revision of data fields (i.e., other last names used, preparer or translator certification, and dropdown document lists in Section 2)
  • Employers must enter the employee's Citizenship / Immigration Status, at the top right of Section 2 of the form. Select the corresponding number (1-4) in accordance with the attestation the employee made in Section 1.
  • If completing the form online, Section 3 appears on page 3. Once printed, Section 3 will appear at the bottom of page 2, in a similar format to the previous version of the form.

Please discontinue the use of the previous version of Form I-9. Although it indicates an expiration date of 08/31/2019, it is no longer accepted following the release of the new version.

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bullet arrow Name Changes

Q.Do I need to submit an I-9 update for a name change?

A.No. Payroll does not require additional documentation in the event of a name change. Please contact your local Department/Human Resources Administrator to update your name in PeopleSoft. For correct reporting of wage information to Social Security, it is required that your name in PeopleSoft match your legal name as on file with the Social Security Administration.

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bullet arrow Noncitizen National

Q.Is my employee a noncitizen national?

A.Noncitizen nationals are persons born in American Samoa, certain former citizens of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and certain children of noncitizen nationals born abroad. More information on U.S. noncitizen nationals can be found on

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bullet arrow Passport versus Visa

Q.Does the visa document establish employment eligibility?

A.No. Though the visa and passport are somewhat similar in appearance, the visa document has "VISA" printed on the top left corner and is not under the Lists of Acceptable documents. Please note the differences and ensure that a visa is not submitted in place of a passport.

Example of Passport (extracted from USCIS Handbook for Employers)
Example of Passport (U.S.)

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bullet arrow Receipt Rule

Q.When can an employee present a receipt for documents in lieu of actual document from the Lists of Acceptable Documents?

A.The "receipt rule" is designed to cover situations in which an employee is authorized to work at the time of initial hire or re-verification, but he or she is not in possession of a document listed on the Lists of Acceptable Documents accompanying Form I-9. Receipts showing that a person has applied for an initial grant of an employment authorization document (EAD) or for renewal of an EAD are not acceptable.

An individual may present a receipt in lieu of a document listed on Form I-9 to complete Section 2 or Section 3 of Form I-9. The receipt is valid for a temporary period. There are three different scenarios where receipts qualify under the rule:

  1. A receipt for a replacement document when the document has been lost, stolen, or damaged. The receipt is valid for 90 days, after which the individual must present the replacement document to complete Form I-9.  NOTE:  This rule does not apply to individuals who present receipts for new documents following the expiration of their previously held document.
  2. A Form I-94/I-94A containing a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual, which is considered a receipt for the Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).

    The individual must present Form I-551 by the expiration date of the temporary I-551 stamp or within one year from the date of issuance of Form I-94/I-94A if the I-551 stamp does not contain an expiration date.
  3. A Form I-94/I-94A containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp. This is considered a receipt for either an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) or a combination of an unrestricted Social Security card and List B document. The employee must present an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) or an unrestricted Social Security card in combination with a List B document to complete Form I-9 within 90 days after the date of hire or, in the case of re-verification, the date employment authorization expires.

Q.My newly hired employee lost his Social Security card and doesn't have a current passport. What should s/he do?

A.As with the receipt rule, if your employee decides that s/he wants to provide you with the Social Security Card as a List C document, he will be able to present the receipt of application for the replacement social security card in lieu of the original Social Security card. Please submit the I-9 as usual (within 3 days of the start of work) with an unexpired item from List B and the receipt of the Social Security card application (List C). The receipt will be effective for 90 days, in which s/he should submit the replacement Social Security card to you (administrator). Please make a copy of the Social Security card and submit an I-9 update.

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bullet arrow Section 2 – Authorized Representative

Q.Can any Stanford employee complete Section 2 of the Form I-9?

A.Since the Form I-9 must be signed by an authorized representative of the employer, we do recommend that a regular employee review the documents presented and complete the form.

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bullet arrow Social Security Numbers

Q.My employee is a nonimmigrant alien. Does s/he need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or does an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) suffice?

A.Nonimmigrant aliens authorized to work must apply for an SSN if being paid through Payroll.

A Social Security Number is required of all employees in the U.S. Most non-residents arrive in the U.S. without a Social Security Number. It is recommended that the non-resident wait for 2 weeks after entering the U.S. before applying for a Social Security Number. See the Bechtel International Center web site for additional information on the application process. Non-resident employees may begin working before applying for a Social Security Number, but it is required that they apply and provide the number to Stanford in a timely manner. Please refer to the question below.

Q.My newly-hired employee does not currently have a Social Security Number. Should I wait to submit the I-9 form until he or she is assigned one?

A.No, you should not wait for the employee to obtain his/her Social Security Number. The I-9 must be submitted within three days from the date of hire. Most new arrivals to the U.S. do not have a Social Security Number. The employee must apply for a Social Security Number and provide it to the Department/HR Administrator as soon as possible upon arrival.

Q.What instructions should I provide to my newly-hired employee who does not currently have a Social Security Number?

A.If your employee has not yet applied for a Social Security Card, have him/her apply as soon as possible. More information about this process can be found on Bechtel International Center's web site.

If your employee has applied for a Social Security Card, but has not yet received the card, have the employee submit a clear copy of application receipt to I-9 Compliance Specialist in the Payroll Department:

Once the Social Security Number is received, the employee should bring the Social Security Card to be entered in PeopleSoft, following the instructions below:

Employee's Actions After Receiving a Social Security Number
Employees are... Actions...

Bring Social Security Card to visit the Department/HR Administrator


Faster and safer method:

  • Navigate to AXESS > Student > Submit SSN/ITIN. Once you submit your SSN, the "Submit SSN/ITIN" option will disappear.


  • Bring Social Security Card and picture ID to the Student Services Center in Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd floor

Follow the instructions on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website

Q.I have an employee who wants to provide me with List B and List C documents, with a Social Security Card as the List C document. The Social Security Card reads "Valid for work only with DHS verification." Can I submit this?

A.No, USCIS specifies, on the List C documents, that if the employee chooses to provide the Social Security card, it must be "unrestricted." A card that includes any of the following restrictions is not an acceptable List C document:


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bullet arrow Timeline

Q.When should Section 1 of Form I-9 be completed?

A.Each newly hired employee (an employee who has accepted the position) should complete and sign Section 1 on the first day of work, regardless of his or her immigration status. The employee must be complete and submit the form on the first day of work.

Q.When should Section 2 of Form I-9 be completed?

A.Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within 3 business days of the employee's first day of work. If the employment relationship will last less than 3 days, then the employer must verify work authorization and complete Section 2 no later than the first day of work.

Q.My employee did not complete the Form I-9 on the first day of work, but still worked anyway. Should the employee not be paid for those hours?

A.An employer should pay for hours already worked by the employee. Refusing payment for hours worked would be in violation of Labor Code in Labor Code Sections 204, 204b, 205, and 209. If a situation like this occurs in your unit, please alert the I-9 Compliance Specialist. We will work with your unit to review local I-9 procedures to ensure compliance with future new hires.

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bullet arrow Remote Employees

Q.I-9 requires me to view original documents with the employee present. How do I do this for remote employees who cannot come to campus?

A.For employees who will be working remotely within the U.S., I-9 requirements may be completed with a remote agent at another University in their area. Provide the remote employee with the Remote Employee I-9 and the Remote Agent Instruction Sheet after you have filled in the first three lines. If they are already connected with a specific University, they may make this request themselves (usually to someone in HR or Payroll) and provide that person with the instruction sheet. Otherwise, please submit a Support Request with the completed instruction sheet to request our assistance in reaching out.


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